Will everyone just please calm down!!

November 7, 2008 1 comment

Well, it’s done. As I looked around I saw everyone crying. Some were tears of elation that the first black president had been elected. Some were tears of frustration and regret from the losing side wondering what could have been done differently. And there was some anger. Trey was freaking out. “The whole country is doomed”, he said. (Being fair to him, it is the first election that he has cared anything about. Unfortunately, he was a few months shy of being eligible to vote.) Okay! Will everyone just calm down. Please! Just calm down and let’s take a look at what just happened.

Although, I didn’t vote for the President-elect, I do acknowledge the history of the outcome. It is significant and a great day for people of color everywhere. This is not to imply that any perceived (or real) inequity between our respective races has been achieved. Maybe that inequity has taken a giant step forward. Maybe not. From the looks of things, more racial tension may be the result. If you were watching anything on television, you might think that Jesus himself had returned. There were people talking about “a new dawn”. What is that supposed to mean? Oprah was hootin’ and hollerin’ on her show. ( I saw it on the news – no… I do not watch her dribble.) Then there was Martin Luther King Jr’s son saying that his father’s dream wouldn’t be realized until everyone has healthcare. Really? I don’t remember that in that speech. Is that equity? The government taking care of everyone? The media is just ecstatic that “their” guy won. This even though they are now admitting on air that they don’t really know that much about him. It is all kind of strange to me.

As for the Republican’s, I can’t say that I thought we had a great chance to begin with. I have written before about the choice of Senator McCain and the general malaise of the party faithful until Governnor Palin was added to the ticket. But even then, McCain seemed to be only half-hearted in his attempt to sway people’s hearts and minds to his way of thinking. Maybe he did the best he could as the slope of the hill worsened. It was clear from the beginning of the campaign that the media was against him after being in love with him during the primaries. In my opinion, his campaign was just not well ran. He came too late to the whole issue of the tax cut for 95% of people when only 60% or so people pay income taxes. He came too late to lots of issues like this. And what that campaign is now doing to Sarah Palin is unconscionable. In the bigger picture, the Republican party has some identity issues that need to taken care of before the next time around. Are we going to be the party of smaller government, less taxes, more individual responsibility or are we going to slide closer to the center? Is the country really moving to a center/left position? I don’t think so. I hope not. But only time will tell.

So there I was, this morning, as I was walking/jogging thinking about all of these things. I pray a lot when I walk in the mornings while listening to my tunes. I was reflecting on what the country would be like in a few years after the far-left leaning congress and, now, administration get some of their policies through.

The song on my iPod changed and a Ginny Owens song came on.

My thoughts? What will happen to our Supreme Court? What will happen to the economy after taxes go up? What will happen when the government takes over healthcare? What will happen regarding national security? So as these questions were bouncing around inside my head something interesting happened. God spoke to me…

It’s not your problem, God replied
And the rest is history

’Cause there’s a bigger picture you can’t see
You don’t have to change the world, just trust in Me
‘Cause I am your creator, I am working out my plan
And through
you Obama I will show them, I Am

So whatever happens, we can just calm down and be assured that none of this has caught God, the creator of everything, by surprise. He is working out his plan and this is obviously a part of it. I don’t know how. But just like the song says, I am going to trust in Him and just see what He does with all of this. Will you join me? The next few years are going to be interesting to say the least.

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Categories: Current Affairs

Can you believe it?

November 4, 2008 Leave a comment

Can you believe it?I took this a bit earlier today. Amazing the difference a few months can make. Hope it stays this way for awhile.

Categories: Current Affairs

Politics As Usual?

October 8, 2008 1 comment

With just a month to go who will win the presidency is anybody’s guess. This election season has not been the typical roller coaster of past election years. My guy, Fred Thompson, got into the race too late and then couldn’t excite anyone. I have followed Thompson from the days when he was a Senator from Tennessee having been swept in the conservative (and Republican) tidal wave in 1994. He was probably the closest Reaganesque conservative in the race this year. He was even an actor(love that DA Arthur Branch!) What more could you want? Well, I did want him. But as the chads fell and the digital bits were counted McCain came out on top.

Honestly, McCain was probably fourth on my list. He has some stances that I do not agree with from immigration to the now massive bail out. I have not been energized at all but decided that he would get my vote because his views on defense and fiscal responsibility are important and correct. (The bail out keeps jumping out as a big, big missed opportunity for him.) I think that Mr. Obama must be defeated. It is that simple. But then things changed on August 29. Sarah Palin.

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What a breath of fresh air! Suddenly, the conservative base was energized. The polls took a bounce and all was looking up. Her strength is that she seems to be just like you and me. She told Biden the other night that those middle class people that he talks about is her. (The highest she has earned, even as Governor of Alaska, is $170K). So she is like us. At least, closer to the folks than any of the other candidates. Rhonda was actually able to meet and shake her hand last Friday. She met with T. Boone Pickens, who offices in one of the buildings that Rhonda manages, and after going through the requisite background check and instructions was given a small pin to wear that gave her access among the Secret Service. Rhonda was thrilled to meet Governor Palin. I was envious.

I am weary of all of the campaign ads and debates. We are hearing nothing new and the debates, quite frankly, have been quite boring. There have been no “sound bite” moments. No “You are no John Kennedy”, or “Well, there you go again…” This is a problem because bored people change channels. I was tempted to a few times during the debate last night. But I think, in most cases, the people that actually watch the debates are people that largely have their minds made up already. Those that do not care or that just try to jump in at the last moment are the ones that will cast an uninformed vote and who knows what direction it might fall. I try to not vote on emotion but on an intelligent assessment of the issues. But with the current state of the economy and the campaign ads I would bet that there will be a lot of emotional votes cast. That is probably bad for the McCain/Palin ticket. And bad for the country.

Categories: Current Affairs

Friday Night Lights

September 16, 2008 Leave a comment

I saw this in a Directv email this morning:

NEW SEASON. NEW NETWORK. NEW WONDERS.

This fall, the lights shine on the Dillon Panthers only on DIRECTV.fnl.jpg

On October 1, all-new episodes of Friday Night Lights premiere on The 101 Network — exclusively on DIRECTV. And they come to you uncut and commercial-free.

The New York Times calls Friday Night Lights “a wonder.” Time andEntertainment Weekly have hailed it as one of the top-ten TV shows. The American Film Institute has named it Television Program of the Year. And the only place you’ll experience this poignant drama series this fall is on DIRECTV.

UNCUT. UNINTERRUPTED. UNAVAILABLE. UNLESS YOU HAVE DIRECTV.

If you haven’t seen Friday Night Lights, this a a great show. I don’t know if I feel this way because I am from a small town that loved its HS football or what. The acting isn’t great but somehow that makes everyone in it seem more real. It was on NBC for a couple of seasons and now it looks like it will only be on Directv. What about those who like it that don’t have Directv? Hmmm. This is odd. I am so glad I have Directv.

Categories: Television

Watercolor Ponies

August 27, 2008 1 comment

Trey started his senior year today. I am not sitting here with tears or anything – just reflecting on the last twelve years and how quickly time flies. It is so hard to believe that he is going to graduate this year. Naturally, we are not the first parents to consider this. It is all in the cycle of life. But as many of you know, theory is one thing but experience is the thing. I have prayed for him for so many years and soon must let him go and have faith that what he has learned from us will guide him. That takes faith on both of our parts. He has turned out to be a great young man. He is thoughtful and sensitive – always standing up for the other guy. He has a great sense of justice. My strange humor has rubbed off on him. We both just sit and laugh about things. He has a strange quirkiness. He is a great guy.

The song Watercolor Ponies talks about those sometimes indistinguishable works of art on your refrigerator. It sums my feelings, I guess.

Baby, what will we do when it comes back to me and you?
They look a little less like little boys every day.
The pleasures of watching the children growing
is mixed with the bitter cup of knowing
the watercolor ponies will one day ride away.

This is going to be a great year. Graduation is on May 28, 2009. Just 274 days away.

Categories: Family

Never Leave Your Partner Behind

August 18, 2008 Leave a comment

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Rhonda and I were fortunate to see an early preview of Fireproof at church a few weeks ago. It is a great film. We laughed. We cried. We really related to the characters. I think most married couples will see themselves somewhere in the movie.

At its basics, the movie is about relationships. The relationship between and man and his wife, his parents, and his co-workers, and ultimately, his relationship with Christ. Kirk Cameron’s character seems at once strong and very driven but also distracted by the trappings of life. He has no center; there is no foundation to keep him steady. It is made pretty evident that a marriage will not reach its full potential without Jesus as the third partner. The relationship with his Dad was especially touching to me. During those scenes I found myself wanting an experience like that. I loved my Dad very much but never achieved this kind of intimacy with him. I feel like I missed out on something very special.

This film is from the creators of Facing The Giants. It is very affirming and can strengthen marriages. I hope you can make time to see it.

Categories: Family, Film, Religion

Don’t look behind the curtain.

August 13, 2008 Leave a comment

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The olympics are well underway and have proven to be pretty exciting. I have loved seeing Michael Phelps and following along on his journey to become the most decorated olympic athlete in history. I have been on the edge of my seat while watching the men's and women's gymnastics. All in all, it has been pretty entertaining.

The opening ceremonies were just incredible. However, I found myself thinking about the people involved the whole time. I guess I don't really know what it is like to live under communism. What I know about it is largely anecdotal. But as I was marveling at the precision of the drummers and the sheer size of the production in general, I couldn't help to think about how long it took to get it as perfect as it was. It was really remarkable. How long did these people practice? I heard somewhere that they practiced hours and hours for days and days. Do they have jobs? Did companies sacrifice productivity for the sake of the state? How much do these people get paid? One of the segments said that the vast majority of Chinese people get by on $2/day. Did I hear that right? The ruling class is VERY wealthy. Everyone else just survives. If that is so, do these people realize that? Even the Chinese athletes are taken from their families at very young ages to train. They rarely see their families. Are all of these sacrifices made voluntarily? I guess everything is done for the good of the state. I don't get it.

So, even as I was impressed by the expansive scope and technology of the opening ceremonies I had a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. It might have been the lunch that I had eaten earlier but I suspect it was the realization that China, a country often vilified for it's disregard for civil rights, had spent billions of dollars so that people like me would sit in amazement at their spectacular job. We will probably never know how much this Olympics cost them or how much debt they are left with.

Later, I heard on the news that the sweet little girl in the red dress was not singing but lip-syncing. Also, the fireworks on television were not the same fireworks that were experienced live. They had been enhanced with computer-generated graphics for the television viewers. I understand, I suppose, China's desire to look good to the world. But this is a perfect example of what communist regimes try to do. Let's make it look perfect and maybe they won't notice what is behind the curtain. It makes me wonder how much of the ceremony really was computer controlled. That would explain the precision. Whatever you do, ignore that man behind the curtain.